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My Issue With Pilot's Arrival Updates and Estimated Time to Gate

My Issue With Pilot's Arrival Updates and Estimated Time to Gate

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Old Jan 2, 19, 8:36 pm
  #1  
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My Issue With Pilot's Arrival Updates and Estimated Time to Gate

He was very well-intentioned, and probably had no idea he just ruined a few people's day. They have a low chance of making their connection anyway, as even if we landed on-time it would only be 45 minutes to deplane, and go to the Delta terminal at SFO (and airtrain might not have been running then). But we were going to land early, the pilot announced, and their hopes must have gone up.
And then we land and don't move, and the pilot announces we will be waiting for a gate. But still will be on-time. But the clock keeps ticking and we end up late. And by the time they get off the plane they have half an hour. I'm pretty sure they missed their international flight.

It is hard for people in customer facing positions to know what to say. It seems perfectly logical to let your passengers know that you will be landing early. But it is also completely out of your control whether or not the airport works, and apparently SFO often doesn't work (there were no empty gates, and they had to wait for a plane to be towed to storage for the night). If I were the passengers with tight connections I would have preferred to feel like I would miss the connection and not to have my hopes brought up and then dashed.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:01 pm
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With a 45-minute international connection to another terminal at SFO, hope generally would not be warranted in the first place.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:05 pm
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What is the problem at SFO and LAX and gates? I've experienced the same sitting on the ramp waiting for a gate for a long time.

Back to your point. The pilot may have been well intentioned but set an expectation that led to disappointment.

for a solution: Have a bag guarantee. Can we get a gate guarantee?
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:10 pm
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Makes no sense.

1. Delta gates are in the adjacent concourse as Alaska in SFO, connected by an airside walkway. 10 minutes is enough time for an average person in average health to walk (plus time to get off the plane and time to board the connecting flight before it closes).

2. Very odd. I know of no international flights on Delta at SFO. They do not fly to their "hub" in Tokyo NRT. They do not fly to Paris or Amsterdam from SFO. Maybe the passengers were ticketed on a Delta codeshare operated by Korean Air or China Southern, in which case 45 minutes is an unrealistic connection from Terminal 2 to the not airside connected International Terminal.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:18 pm
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I don’t get how the pilot was mean...
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:22 pm
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What's the legal connection time at SFO for domestic to international? It seems it would be at least an hour. Personally, the stress ruins my day so I never book an international connection either departing or arriving at less than about 3 hours....just too many things to go wrong.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:33 pm
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I think 90 minutes for AS-DL at SFO for international.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
He was very well-intentioned, and probably had no idea he just ruined a few people's day. They have a low chance of making their connection anyway, as even if we landed on-time it would only be 45 minutes to deplane, and go to the Delta terminal at SFO (and airtrain might not have been running then). But we were going to land early, the pilot announced, and their hopes must have gone up.
And then we land and don't move, and the pilot announces we will be waiting for a gate. But still will be on-time. But the clock keeps ticking and we end up late. And by the time they get off the plane they have half an hour. I'm pretty sure they missed their international flight.

It is hard for people in customer facing positions to know what to say. It seems perfectly logical to let your passengers know that you will be landing early. But it is also completely out of your control whether or not the airport works, and apparently SFO often doesn't work (there were no empty gates, and they had to wait for a plane to be towed to storage for the night). If I were the passengers with tight connections I would have preferred to feel like I would miss the connection and not to have my hopes brought up and then dashed.
Horribly mean? Really? Providing updates as he gets them is "horribly mean"? Someone else would have complained that there was no information from the Pilot if the plane had landed and sat there without an update. This is a classic case of you just can't win. It's not the Pilots fault that things changed beyond his control.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:52 pm
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There's no international DL flights at SFO, so not sure what they were on. Maybe it was a codeshare and they were clueless about the operator.

While the pilot wasn't necessarily mean, I wish pilots would never say "early arrival." Especially into places like SFO, JFK, etc. I've had many planned early arrivals go south, and one even divert.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 10:25 pm
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Delta has a daily flight SFO/AMS at 2:35pm, and its on a 787-9.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Waitlisted View Post
Delta has a daily flight SFO/AMS at 2:35pm, and its on a 787-9.
Delta doesn't fly the 787 at all, this is likely a KLM flight operated also as a DL code-share
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Old Jan 2, 19, 10:52 pm
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The pilot kept passengers aware of the situation and ultimately got to the gate on time, yet he was mean? This country is going insane.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 11:04 pm
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Reminds me of the psychology experiments where people are excited about a product that costs $10 with a 10% discount, but turn down the alternative of a $8 product with a 10% surcharge....
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Old Jan 2, 19, 11:26 pm
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Everything is the pilot’s fault. If there’s no gate: blame the pilots. Flat tire: blame the pilots. No FAs: blame the pilots. Crew bus is late: blame the pilots. It’s raining/snowing/icy/sunny/hot/cold/windy: definitely blame the pilots.
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Old Jan 2, 19, 11:29 pm
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I am stunned that the pilot would be called “mean”. Another passenger could complain that they were kept in the dark with no updates and give reasons why those updates were needed.

Why would anyone have a 45 minute connection to an international flight when those flights start boarding earlier and close earlier? That sounds risky if it is even a legal connection at SFO.

Whether one wants less or more pilot communication may be personal preference but to give a comment such as “mean” is making a judgement on the behavior of the pilot.
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